22 December 2016

Calp and Roquetas de Mar

Location: Roquetas de Mar, Almería, Spain
  Small Rocks In The Sea
Follow our route by opening TRAVEL MAP 2016/2017 on the right sidebar ([view larger], zoom +/-, pan around). Click on any photo in this post and launch a slideshow gallery of all photos.

CALP, ALICANTE will just be an overnighter for us. We followed the N-340 secondary highway as much as possible today and the major highway AP-7 when we had to. It's approxiately, a 375+ km/4.5 hour trip. The secondary route follows the coastline more closely; it's a slower drive and much more picturesque. It can also be prone to closures and accidents and passing through the smaller cities and towns means encountering an endless string of round-abouts.  

Travel Tip: Any hotel in SPAIN, to score a room with a balcony at no extra charge, tell them you smoke.

Next, we have a 3 night stay, including December 25th in ...

A long drive today. Highway speeds 120-150+ kph, quite mountaineous at times, numerous long switchbacks, several tunnels (one almost 2 kms long), houses on hillsides, thousands of greenhouses, a very arid landscape, a couple of large cities bypassed, hundreds of roundabouts (some triple laned).

We were astounded by the number of greenhouses we were driving by. From higher in the mountains, views of them spread out endlessly. Since the 1980's, the small coastal plain, some 30 kms southwest of the city of Almeria, has developed ... The Largest Concentration of Greenhouses in the World, covering 26,000 hectares. Several thousands of tons of vegetables and fruits such as tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and zucchinis are produced here annually. More than half of Europe's demand for fresh fruits and vegetables are grown under the plastic shades.

Our apartment is quite well located. We're away from heavy street traffic, just behind a long walking promenade, that overlooks the Mediterranean Sea and runs parallel to Sabinal and Serena Beaches
Feliz Navidad 

We really liked this area. Roquetas de Mar has a great climate, beautiful sandy beaches and a rich culture. This location boasts the most sunshine and least rainfall on the entire Mediterranean coast. It would be a great place to spend a few winter weeks; any time through December to February would be the quietest. Even though this is the coolest time of the year here, average temperatures range from 17 - 18C. The beautiful town is located directly at the sea and is surrounded by mountains, the beaches with a length of 13 km are flanked by a well-maintained promenade with palm trees. We walked most of the promenade; separate walking/running and cycling paths; many restaurants, cafes and bars. The south end of the promenade provides access to the Punta Entinas Natural Reserve which, in addition to hiking/birding & cycling, also features some good dive sites.

There's a small castle in town called Castillo de Santa Anna (Spanish wiki site only). It marks the northern end of the  promenade. Built in the 17th century, the Castillo de Santa Ana served as a refuge for the inhabitants of Roquetas de Mar, particularly those people living next to the port. In those days it was the only place to find shelter from attacks by pirates. These brigands were particularly interested in stealing salt, one of the most important minerals to be found in this part of Spain.

Crusty ...

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